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State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008–2012

July 21, 2014 Comments off

State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008–2012
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Provides data on state government indigent defense expenditures for fiscal years 2008 through 2012. Trends in spending and comparisons with total state government judicial-legal expenditures are also included. The report uses administrative data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Government Finance Survey. This is a companion report to the Census Bureau’s report, Indigent Defense Services in the United States, FY 2008-2012.

Highlights:

  • In 2012, state governments spent $2.2 billion nationally on indigent defense, the lowest amount spent during the 5-year period from 2008 to 2012.
  • State government indigent defense expenditures showed an average annual decrease of 1.1% from 2008 to 2012.
  • From 2011 to 2012, state government indigent defense expenditures decreased by $45 million nationally (down 2.0%).
  • As a share of total judicial-legal expenditures by state governments, spending on indigent defense held steady between 9.5% and 10.0% from 2008 to 2012.
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DOJ OIG — An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory

July 17, 2014 Comments off

An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

This is the third review by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) since 1997 related to alleged irregularities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory (Lab). 2 The first two OIG reports focused on alleged FBI Lab deficiencies, the conduct of individuals brought to our attention by a whistleblower, and remedial actions the FBI took in response to our recommendations. This report addresses how the Criminal Division Task Force (Task Force), created by the Department in 1996 and whose mission was redefined in 1997, managed the identification, review, and follow-up of cases involving the use of scientifically unsupportable analysis and overstated testimony by FBI Lab examiners in criminal prosecutions. We analyzed the Task Force’s review of cases involving 13 FBI examiners the Task Force determined had been criticized in the 1997 OIG report. We included in our review a close examination of cases handled by 1 of the 13 examiners, Michael Malone, the Lab’s Hairs and Fibers Unit examiner whose conduct was particularly problematic.

Although the Task Force made a diligent effort to manage a complex review of thousands of cases, we found the following serious deficiencies in the Department’s and the FBI’s design, implementation, and overall management of the case review process…

Seasonal Patterns In Criminal Victimization Trends

June 23, 2014 Comments off

Seasonal Patterns In Criminal Victimization Trends
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Uses data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to examine the seasonal patterns in violent and property crime victimization in the United States from 1993 to 2010. Seasonal patterns are periodic fluctuations in the victimization rates that tend to occur at the same time each year. The report describes seasonal patterns in property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other household theft) and violent victimization (rape and sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault). It also presents seasonal trends in other forms of violence, including intimate partner violence, victimizations involving a weapon, and violence resulting in injury.

Highlights:

  • Seasonal patterns existed in household larceny and burglary victimization rates. Rates of these household crimes tended to be higher in the summer than during other seasons of the year.
  • When seasonal variations in household property victimization were found, the differences between the highest and lowest seasonal rates were less than 11%.
  • Though rates of motor vehicle theft tended to be lower in the spring than in the summer, there were few regular differences between summer, fall, and winter rates.
  • Aggravated assault rates were higher during the summer than during the winter, spring, and fall. In comparison, simple assault rates were higher during the fall than during other seasons of the year.
  • When seasonal variations were found for violent victimization, the differences between the rates of the highest and lowest seasons were less than 12%.

U.S. Charges Five Chinese Military Hackers for Cyber Espionage Against U.S. Corporations and a Labor Organization for Commercial Advantage

May 19, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Charges Five Chinese Military Hackers for Cyber Espionage Against U.S. Corporations and a Labor Organization for Commercial Advantage
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

A grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania (WDPA) indicted five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear power, metals and solar products industries.

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to hack into American entities, to maintain unauthorized access to their computers and to steal information from those entities that would be useful to their competitors in China, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In some cases, it alleges, the conspirators stole trade secrets that would have been particularly beneficial to Chinese companies at the time they were stolen. In other cases, it alleges, the conspirators also stole sensitive, internal communications that would provide a competitor, or an adversary in litigation, with insight into the strategy and vulnerabilities of the American entity.

FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

May 12, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 27 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2013, a decrease of more than 44 percent when compared to the 49 officers killed in 2012. By region, 15 officers died as a result of criminal acts that occurred in the South, six officers in the West, four officers in the Midwest, and two in the Northeast.

By circumstance, seven officers were killed as a result of ambushes (four during unprovoked attacks and three due to entrapment/premeditated situations). Five officers died from injuries inflicted as a result of answering disturbance calls (three of which were domestic disturbances), and five officers were engaged in tactical situations. Three officers sustained fatal injuries while they were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, three were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and three officers were responding to robberies in progress or pursuing robbery suspects. One officer was killed as a result of an investigative activity.

Offenders used firearms in 26 of the 27 felonious deaths. These included 19 incidents with handguns, five incidents with rifles, and two incidents with shotguns. One victim officer was killed with a vehicle used as a weapon.

Nineteen of the slain officers were confirmed to be wearing body armor at the times of the incidents. Six of the officers fired their own weapons, and three officers attempted to fire their service weapons. Two victim officers had their weapons stolen; one officer was killed with his own weapon.

CRS — The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (updated)

May 12, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.

This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process based on publicly available information.

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities
Source: National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

One of the most common experiences shared by women in correctional facilities is a history of trauma, which for many can be extensive. Research from multiple disciplines has shown that the effects of trauma can be significant and long lasting. We now know that trauma often plays a role in the onset of women’s criminal behavior, is often linked to substance abuse and mental health challenges, and that trauma may explain some of the behaviors women offenders display while incarcerated. This document provides a brief overview of trauma and its effects on women offenders, and specifically defines trauma-informed practices for women’s correctional facilities. It also provides key actions that facility administrators, managers, and staff can take to better align their operational practices with the research on trauma and to create a more trauma-informed facility culture.

Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody

April 30, 2014 Comments off

Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The National Task Force on the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women under Correctional Custody, initially convened by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011, created this best practices statement to articulate a set of principles to guide agencies and jurisdictions in the development of local policy and practice. These best practices are relevant across a variety of settings including criminal justice, juvenile justice, psychiatric and forensic hospitals, law enforcement transport, and others. This document refers and applies to both women (age 18 years and older) and girls (younger than age 18) who are pregnant, laboring and delivering, or in the post-partum period.

This statement is not a proscribed policy. Rather, it should serve as a starting point for individual organizations to use in developing effective internal policies, procedures, and practices that maximize safety and minimize risk for pregnant women and girls, their fetuses/newborns, and correctional and medical staff.

Recidivism Of Prisoners Released In 30 States In 2005: Patterns From 2005 To 2010

April 28, 2014 Comments off

Recidivism Of Prisoners Released In 30 States In 2005: Patterns From 2005 To 2010
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense. It provides estimates on the number and types of crimes former inmates commit both prior to their imprisonment and after release. The report includes different measures of recidivism, including a new arrest, court adjudication, conviction, and incarceration for either a new sentence or a technical violation. It also documents the extent to which the released prisoners committed crimes in states other than the one that released them. Data are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Recidivism Study of State Prisoners Released in 2005, which tracked a sample of former inmates from 30 states for five years following release in 2005. The findings are based on prisoner records obtained from the state departments of corrections through the National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) and criminal history records obtained through requests to the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index (III) and state repositories via the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets).

Highlights:

Among state prisoners released in 30 states in 2005—

  • About two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years.
  • Within 5 years of release, 82.1% of property offenders were arrested for a new crime, compared to 76.9% of drug offenders, 73.6% of public order offenders, and 71.3% of violent offenders.
  • More than a third (36.8%) of all prisoners who were arrested within 5 years of release were arrested within the first 6 months after release, with more than half (56.7%) arrested by the end of the first year.
  • Two in five (42.3%) released prisoners were either not arrested or arrested once in the 5 years after their release.
  • A sixth (16.1%) of released prisoners were responsible for almost half (48.4%) of the nearly 1.2 million arrests that occurred in the 5-year follow-up period.
  • An estimated 10.9% of released prisoners were arrested in a state other than the one that released them during the 5-year follow-up period
  • Within 5 years of release, 84.1% of inmates who were age 24 or younger at release were arrested, compared to 78.6% of inmates ages 25 to 39 and 69.2% of those age 40 or older.

The Inmate Education Facilitator’s Guide: Prison Rape Elimination Act — What You Need to Know

April 24, 2014 Comments off

The Inmate Education Facilitator’s Guide: Prison Rape Elimination Act — What You Need to Know (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

This guide is a supplement to the video, PREA: What You Need to Know. Its purpose is to help corrections officials conduct educational screenings of the video for inmates in their custody.

The core goal of PREA: What You Need to Know is to teach inmates about their right to be free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The video gives an overview of corrections policies to prevent and respond to this abuse, covering how inmates can safely report abuse, the types of victim services available to inmates following an incident of sexual abuse, and what it means for a facility to have a “zero-tolerance” policy.

Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003–2012

April 24, 2014 Comments off

Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003–2012
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents estimates on nonfatal domestic violence from 2003 to 2012. Domestic violence includes victimization committed by current or former intimate partners (spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends), parents, children, siblings, and other relatives. This report focuses on the level and pattern of domestic violence over time, highlighting selected victim and incident characteristics. Incident characteristics include the type of violence, the offender’s use of a weapon, victim injury and medical treatment, and whether the incident was reported to police. The report provides estimates of acquaintance and stranger violence for comparison. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to police. The NCVS is a self-report survey administered every six months to persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Highlights:

  • In 2003–12, domestic violence accounted for 21% of all violent crime.
  • A greater percentage of domestic violence was committed by intimate partners (15%) than immediate family members (4%) or other relatives (2%).
  • Current or former boyfriends or girlfriends committed most domestic violence.
  • Females (76%) experienced more domestic violence victimizations than males (24%).

Annotated Bibliography: Juvenile Justice

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Annotated Bibliography: Juvenile Justice
Source: National Institute of Corrections

Are you looking for a comprehensive list of resources about juvenile justice? Then this publication is for you. It offers a wide range of sources that will give you an excellent review of the field of juvenile justice. Each annotation explains what the item is about, with many having Web links. Citations are organized into the following areas: courts; juvenile assessment; assessment tools; programs; programs for young women; facilities; training; websites; and juvenile sex offenders.

Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Hello, this is Cornelia Sigworth. I’m a Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Today I am sitting down with Dr. Brian Regli from Drakontas Communication Tool and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio from Drexel University. Dr. Regli is the Chief Executive Officer of Drakontas Incorporated [LLC, http://www.drakontas.com. In this role, he is responsible for developing product commercialization strategies for emerging technologies. Dr. D’Ovidio is an Associate Professor at Drexel University, where he teaches for the Criminal Justice Program and directs Drexel’s research program in computer crime and digital forensics. Both Dr. Regli and Dr. D’Ovidio are working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance to develop curriculum materials to increase awareness of crimes committed in virtual worlds and to build capacity among state and local law enforcement [agencies] to combat these crimes.

So, Brian, when you think of video games, you think of fun, not crime. How are people exploiting virtual worlds and online video game worlds for criminal purposes?

USDoJ Executive Office for Immigration Review: FY 2013 Statistics

April 17, 2014 Comments off

USDoJ Executive Office for Immigration Review: FY 2013 Statistics (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review
From press release (PDF):

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced that it has released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Statistics Yearbook. As announced on its website on October 1, 2013, EOIR has been working to enhance its external data reporting by changing the way it analyzes and reports its data. The new statistical methodology is featured in the FY 2013 Statistics Yearbook, an annual compilation of data that examines respondents’ cases by nationality, language, and disposition, and provides detailed information surrounding asylum cases.

Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect not only those who are living with the disease; these afflictions also impact the caregivers, law enforcement, and even neighbors. As the disease progresses, physical and mental capabilities are negatively impacted, short-term memory loss increases, and a person with Alzheimer’s might begin living in the past. As the person attempts to return to former places of employment or residences, they often get lost and need assistance returning to where they are currently residing. It is never possible to predict if or when a person with Alzheimer’s will wander or be unable to navigate familiar routes. Initiating a search for a person with Alzheimer’s can never be delayed, and conducting such searches can prove to be costly and consume extreme amounts of agency resources. It is crucial for law enforcement officers and other first responders to be familiar with and understand the signs of dementia and be aware of passive identification products used to identify persons with Alzheimer’s. In addition to passive identification techniques, there are technologies and products available that can be used to actively locate an individual who is lost.

Cellular location techniques and Global Positioning System devices are examples of proven methods for aiding law enforcement in a search for a missing person with dementia. This document will provide a technical description of these technologies and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages when employing these products. It will also provide comprehensive lists of locating devices that are currently available. Provided in each section is a short technical description of the technology and its advantages and the disadvantages. Appendix I and Appendix II provide a list of passive and active locating devices currently available.

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

The Boston Police Department (BPD) has long embraced both community policing and the use of social media. The department put its experience to good and highly visible use in April 2013 during the dramatic, rapidly developing investigation that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. BPD successfully used Twitter to keep the public informed about the status of the investigation, to calm nerves and request assistance, to correct mistaken information reported by the press, and to ask for public restraint in the tweeting of information from police scanners. This demonstrated the level of trust and interaction that a department and a community can attain online. In the aftermath of the investigation, BPD was “applauded for leading an honest conversation with the public during a time of crisis in a way that no police department has done before.”

National Criminal Justice Reference Service — Special Feature: Youth Violence

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Special Feature: Youth Violence
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

According to data released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, juvenile arrests for violent crimes (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) declined 29% between 2006 and 2011 (Juvenile Arrests 2011, December 2013). The number of juvenile court cases involving violent offenses fell 8% between 2008 and 2009 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2009, July 2012) and 8% between 2009 and 2010 (Juvenile Court Statistics, 2010, June 2013).

The Bureau of Justice Statistics resource, Violent Crime Against Youth, 1994-2010 (December 2012), presents trend data on a number of different points related to the topic. For example, from 1994 to 2010, the rate of serious violent crime occurring on school grounds declined by 62%. Also presented is information on the non-reporting of violent crimes by youth victims. During a 2002-10 period of analysis, the most frequent reasons youth provided for not reporting violence were that the incident was reported to another individual such as a school official (30%), was considered not important enough to the victim to report (15%), or was considered to be a private or personal matter (16%). Another reason youth provided for not reporting the victimization to police was that the offender was a child (7%).

The pages of this Special Feature contain publications and resources on topics related to youth violence and the prevention of such violence.

DoJ OIG — Review of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center

April 3, 2014 Comments off

Review of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

INTRODUCTION
This review examined the operations of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Fusion Center (OFC) and assessed its process for sharing its analytical products. The OFC is a multiagency intelligence center that produces intelligence products in response to requests from federal investigators (requesters). The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Special Operations Division (SOD) supports the OFC in developing these products.

ISSUES THAT AROSE DURING THE REVIEW
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) learned during the course of the review that OFC management took actions that created difficulties for us in obtaining information from OFC employees and in ensuring that interview responses were candid and complete.

We had issues in obtaining documents directly from OFC personnel. Further, two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees detailed to the OFC, who met with us to describe their concerns about the OFC’s operations, told us that thereafter they had been subjected to retaliation by the OFC Director. The OIG recently completed its review of these retaliation allegations and concluded there were reasonable grounds to believe that actions were taken against the FBI employees in reprisal for making protected disclosures. We have referred our findings to the appropriate authorities for adjudication and resolution under applicable law.

Given this troubling conduct, we cannot be sure we obtained complete information from or about the OFC or that other OFC employees may not have been deterred from coming forward and speaking candidly with us. The results of our review reflect the findings and conclusions that we were able to reach based on the information that was made available to us.

RESULTS IN BRIEF
Although we found that OFC products may provide information that is valued by the investigators and prosecutors who use them, the OIG review identified deficiencies in the OFC’s operations that could limit its contribution to the OCDETF Program’s effectiveness.

See:

Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Management of Terrorist Watchlist Nominations (Redacted Version)

March 26, 2014 Comments off

Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Management of Terrorist Watchlist Nominations (Redacted Version) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

Despite using three separate systems to track non-investigative subject watchlist nominations, we found that the FBI had not maintained the necessry records to readily provide an accurate accounting of the actions that were taken regarding to the watchlisting status of non-investigative subjects. We found that the processes used by the FBI were redundant and resulted in incomplete, inconsistent, and erroneous data.

Juvenile Arrests 2011

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Arrests 2011
Source: office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

As has been the case in general for the past decade, juvenile arrest data for 2011 provide reasons for encouragement. Overall, arrests in 2011 were down 11 percent from 2010 and down 31 percent since 2002.

Although juvenile arrest rates for many crimes are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years, many states and communities are instituting legislative, policy, and practice changes to reduce juvenile arrests even further. As a growing body of evidence underscores the corrosive effects that system involvement and confinement can have on healthy adolescent emotional, mental, behavioral, and social development, many jurisdictions are examining and developing ways to divert nonserious offenders from entering the system. With time, the cumulative effects of these and other reform efforts, such as trauma, mental health, and substance abuse screening and assessment for youth upon intake, should result in a system where arrests are rare, all youth are treated fairly, and when a youth enters the system, he or she receives much-needed treatment and services. Such changes would undoubtedly provide positive and healthy outcomes for youth, families, and communities.

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